Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

4 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



MM—^— THE BARBAROUS MURDER AT ALTON. THE INQUEST. On Tuesday morning Mr R. Harfield, the deputy- cotoner for Hampshire, opened an inquiry at Alton into the cause of the death of Fanny Adams, aged seven years and six months. The accused, Frederick Baker, a soli- citor's clerk, was brought in handcuffed. The first witness called was the child Minnie Warner. She said On Saturday we went to play to the Hollow with Fanny Adams and her little sister. While we were there a young man came, and said, I Holloal' and then he said he would give me a penny to run down with Fanny into 'the Hollow.' We did that, He said he would give me another halfpenny, and if we would go into Mr Chalcralfs field be would pick some berries for US. We went, and he picked some berries for us. He then told us to go home, and he took up Fanny and carried her away. He had on a black coat, light waist- coat and trousers, and a tail hat. (At the request of tb« ^eputy-coroEer the child looked round the room to see if she could identify the man who tOJk Fanny away, but the did not do so, the crowd staring in at the windows sad loudly talking evidently frightened her.) George Adams, the father of the deceased, identified her remains. Harriet Adams, thl'J wife of the last witness, proved that her daughter left home to go and play in the fields ssusual. She went with her young sister, Elizabeth Adams, and Minnie Warner, about half-past one. In the course of the afternoon Lizzie returned home, and, thinking Fanny had gone with her father, who was play- ing cricket on the Butts, she did not look for her till Mrs Gardner came, and they went with Minnie to look for her, but did not find her. They saw a man coming out of the gate of the field into the meadow, and Minnie said That is the man who gave us the pennies.' He said, 'No, it was three halfpennies I gave you, and the others a halfpenny.' Mrs Gardner took hold of him and asked him what his name was. He said, No matter what's my name, you'll find me at Mr Clement's if you want me.' Mr Clement is a solicitor in Alton. The man's name is Frederick Bakers and this is the man (pointing to the sccused). Mrs Gardner asked him where the child was, and he said he had not seen her since he left them at the gate at play. Jane Gardner said: I live at Alton, and am a near neighbour of the parents of the deceased. On Saturday I heard the child was missing, and just after five I went -with the mother in search of it. I saw the accused walk- ing along-at the top of the meadow, as if coming from *the Hollow,' towards the Basington road, by a footpath at the side of the River Wey. I called him, and he came to meet me. I asked him what he had done with the child he took away with him at half past one, and which had not been seensince. He said, 11 haven't seen one.' I said, What did you give those children halfpence for and send them away?' He made no answer to that. I said, 'Here comes one of the children,' and Minnie Warner came up at the moment. I then said to the child, I Did this gentleman give you any money to-day ?' She said, 'Yes, threepence.' He said, 'No, three half- pence.' I said What did he give Lizzie, and what did he give Fanny ?' Minnie Warner said, A' halfpenny.' I said, I What did he do then and she replied, 'Told me to go home and spend it.' I again said, What did be do with Fanny ?' She said, 'He took her up the Hollow,' behind the high hedge in the hop-garden.' The accused was standing cluse to me at the time. I said to M rs Adams, I You give him in charge to the police' He said he would go. I said, I Well, the reason I speak so is that an old man has been giving halfpence to the children for no good purpose, and I thought you were of the same sort; but if I am wrong I humbly beg your pardon.' J said, We must have your name,' and he I am to be found at Mr Clement's.' I then went home, and between seven and eight o'clock I heard some one screaming, and a cry, The head is found I then went into the hop-garden, and saw the head and trunk lying where the garden is approached by a gate at the top of the lane called 'the Hollow.' When I first spoke to Baker he could not reply, being apparently speechless, and he walked, away for perhaps a yard, when he ex- claimed, 'I have not seen the child!' When he left me and Mrs Adams in the meadow, he went along a path el directly in front of Mrs Porter's house. The Deputy Coroner, addressing the accused, said that the evidence seemed to implicate him as having been seen near the spot where the remains of the child hid been found, and he was the last person with whom the child was seen alive. If there<was any question he wished to ask of any of the witnesses, he could do so. The accused said he had no question to ask. After further evidence as to the finding of the remains, Louis Leslie, M.D, said he had examined the parts of the body of a child at the police-station, He described them, and said the dismemberment must have taken place after death. A post-mortem examination of the head showed a contused wound completely dividing the scalp. The blow must have been severe, and he was inclined to think was inflicted by a stone. Such a blow would cause immediate insensibility, and death might follow. It was perfectly impossible to say whether any act of violence had taken place. On Saturday night witness examined the person of the prisoner; there were no marks or scratches about him, but his trousers, socks, and boots, one leg particularly, were very wet. The witness spoke of that fact to him, and he said, 'Unfortunately for me they are, but that proves nothing.' There was blood on both wristbands, and Superintendent Cheyney asked him how he could account for the blood, and Baker said, 'I cannot account for it,' and, looking at his person, he added, 'I don't see any cuts or scratches that would account for it.' Whether the blood was human or not the witness could not say. William Walker said he found a large stone (produced) in the hop-garden. There was long hair on it and pieces of flesh. It was close to the spot where the head was found. Mr Superintendent Cheyney said that, having heard of the murder, he went to Baker's office, he having been last seen with the child, and on telling him of the charge he said I know nothing about it. I am willing to go where you like.' The witness left a constable with him, and after hearing the statement of Mrs Adams and Mrs Gardner, took him into custody. The prisoner's clothes ■wersyjroduced, there being spots of blood on the trousers, as ifthey had been washed. On Monday morning witness i and Superintendent Everitt went to the office of the prisoner, and in his desk they found a diary, with a memorandum under date Saturday, August 24th: 'Killed a young girl. It was fine and hot.' That entry the prisoner admitted was in his handwriting. The Coroner then asked the accused whether he desired to say anything, to which he replied, 'No, sir, only that I am innocent.' The Coroner then summed up with great care, and the jury returned a verdict of Wilful Murder against Frederick Baker, for killing and slaying Fanny Adams.' The warrant was made out for the committal of the prisoner to Winchester Gaol. After his examination before the county magistrates at Alton on Thuraday, Frederick Baker, the young lawyer's clerk who is charged with the murder of Fanny Adams, was removed to the county prison in a cab, in charge of Superintendent Everitt of the Hampshire county con- stabulary. They arrived at Winchester about nine o'clock, prior to which time, for some hours several hundreds of persons assembled at the railway station, expecting the prisoner would come by the last down train, and were, of course, much disappointed. When, somewhat later, a cab appeared in the High-street with a policeman on the box, the crowd suspected it to contain Baker, and booting and yelling commenced, and stones were thrown at the cab. The crowd further on attempted to stop the conveyance, but were prevented, and the prisoner was soon afterwards lodged in the prison. He will probably be tried at the Hampshire winter assizes in December next. SINGULAR CA3E OF POISONING AT LIVERPOOL.—A few weeks since there was a fire at Messrs. Evans, Sons, and Co.'s, wholesale druggists, Hanover-street, Liverpool, and subsequently some of the refuse -was carted away to Toxteth Park. It contained some nuts (supposed to be the Old Calabar trial bean), and some children rooted them up and ate some, the consequence being that on Friday a number of them suffered from the effeota of poison- ing. A sow and litter of eight little pigs that got hold of some of the store of refuse were poisoned outright.